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A New Firebird Takes Flight In Indianapolis

Murat Centre, Indianapolis, Indiana - Review Dance Magazine, Inc. by Nina Alovert
April, 1999

I INDIANAPOLIS-- Eldar Aliev, the artistic director of Ballet Internationale of Indianapolis, has staged a new version of Stravinsky's Firebird, with scenery by Semon Pastukh. It will premiere on April 12 at the Murat Centre. The new production coincides with the company's celebration of its twenty-fifth anniversary.

Choreographer Yuri Grigorovich was originally slated to create the work, but, owing to scheduling conflicts, the former Bolshoi Ballet artistic director bowed out. Eldar Aliev, who had fallen in love with the idea of the project, decided to choreograph the piece himself and to create a new libretto.

The Firebird, originally created by Michel Fokine for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in 1910, was based on Russian fairy tales. At the time, Stravinsky, who wrote the music, was an up-and-coming composer. In the course of the twentieth century, many notable choreographers have staged the ballet, including Fyodor Lopokov, Serge Lifar, George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, Boris Eifman, Maurice Bejart, and John Taras. In Eldar Aliev's version, the Firebird is a Princess under a spell, which Ivan breaks by killing her captor, Kashey, with a magic sword.

Formerly a principal dancer with the Kirov Ballet (Maryinsky Theatre), Eldar Aliev has worked in the United States since 1992. In 1994 he became the artistic director of the Indianapolis company, which was founded by the late George Verdak. In a short time Eldar Aliev has strengthened the troupe by gathering talented soloists and establishing a serious and eclectic repertoire: A Thousand and One Nights and The Nutcracker, choreographed by Eldar Aliev; Bournonville's La Sylphide; An Evening of American Choreography; and The Creation of the World by Russian choreographers Natalia Kasatkina and Vladimir Y. Vasiliov.

Eldar Aliev's Past Articles

  Choreographer brings fire to 'Nights'
  'Nights' challenges dancers
Youth Leaps on Was Horses
BI opens season
BI returns from China tour
A New Firebird Takes Flight In Indianapolis
A Thousand and One Nights.
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Click on the links below to watch video excerpts

• A Thousand and One Nights
• Le Corsaire
• The Firebird
• The Nutcracker